So how is that $1.3 billion in tax credits and abatements to create jobs for Nevadans at Tesla Motors’ battery gigafactory near Sparks working out?
According to the website This Is Reno, about 350 of those Nevada union workers walked off the site today in protest of one of the contractors, Brycon Corp., paying only $12 to $14 an hour instead of union scale.
A union spokesman said the work site went from about 400 workers to about 60 Brycon employees.
Tesla blamed it all on subcontractors.
Sparks Tribune columnist and liberal activist Andrew Barbano, sent out an email ahead of the walkout saying the protest was over Nevada tax breaks being spent to bring workers from New Mexico, which is where Brycon is based.
“This legislation was passed with limited protection for Nevada’s construction workers,” Barbano quoted Todd Koch, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada, as saying. “Nevada’s tax dollars should be used to provide jobs for Nevada construction workers not New Mexico construction workers.”
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported that about 100 workers were picketing the Tesla site and many of them had walked off the job site to join the protest. The story noted that the total number of jobs at the site is also below projections. Tesla said it would employ 700 workers by the end of 2015 and hire another 1,000 in 2016, but the number of jobs is said to be closer to 300 or 400.
This comes as there are reports that Tesla might be considering dropping Panasonic as its gigafactory partner or hedging its bets by adding another battery source.